As I reflect on my own life and the lives of those around me, I’m finding some fascinating revelations. One has to do with singleness and marriage. When I was in my late teens and very early twenties, all I yearned for was a mate. I thought that my life just could not start if I didn’t have a companion to go places with, confide in and ultimately marry. As a person with not much hangout partners and absolutely no siblings, I was aching from loneliness. So much so that I often entertained love interests who I knew just was not the quality man that I envisioned walking down the aisle to.
Well, how much of this story sounds like you? I don’t know, but what I do know is this story fits many of the lives of the persons I know. Some may have a wider network of friends to kill time with, but deep down their loneliness and brokenness is crying out and it is evident in the relationships they manifest. But why are we so prone to ache for a mate to the point we believe our worth and lives cannot skyrocket if we don’t have one?
It is because we have not recognized the amazing treasure we have within God and ourselves. I want to propose that the best time of our lives is anytime of our lives – if we can spot the value and treasure of the season, we are in. For singles, this is the time of self-discovery: Learning various skills, pursuing passions, pursuing a second or third degree, exploring various genres of books, enjoying attractions near you, setting your finances in order, going on missions’ trips and so much more.
You may also want to use the time to equip yourself in faith with various things that will make having a home more enjoyable and comfortable. If we really look at all the potential and beauty found in getting to know ourselves, enjoying solitude and exploring our passions, there should be no depression or anxiety associated with singleness.
But what happens when we don’t enjoy our singleness and rush from relationship to relationship? We often find that persons who refuse to be alone and enjoy their singleness in wholesome ways and trust God for His timing to bring the spouse he has for them, get trapped in toxic, abusive situations.
Many persons believe that something is wrong with them because they are single while everyone else around them are married. They also often lust for sex so much that it becomes their main motivating factor for marriage. A relationship built on any one of these foundations is sure be shaken to the ground, causing much pain and heartache in the process. The bible says that anything built on faulty material will be exposed and brought down in the time of testing. This is true for ministries, marriages, businesses, political organizations and anything else.
So, what is the right foundation for a marriage after we have discovered ourselves??
Discovering our life’s purpose and marrying someone whose purpose aligns with ours. The foundation for a healthy marriage cannot be physical attraction, shared interests, shared brokenness, or desperation. It must be about purpose. How do we know our purpose? By pursuing what was mentioned above – God and ourselves. I believe the more we discover exactly how God made us, the more insight we can get on what assignment He carved out with our names on it. In many instances, our marriages are a bit further down in our lives than we expect because it takes time for God to reveal purpose – this is usually never an overnight process that we can tick off our checklist in our twenties.
If you are single, don’t despair. The anxiety and depression of wanting so badly to marry and have a family can be overwhelming. However, the more we see that there are steps to take if we want to reach that destination, the more we should prepare to do the work. Treasure your singleness as much as you would marriage because a season of singleness which was whole will ultimately lead to a marriage which is beautiful and whole. Begin to excavate parts of yourself you are not familiar with and discover the person God made, which you had no idea was hidden and waiting to be found. Eventually as you pursue these things, your mate will present him or herself and you will find yourself going from one beautiful season to the next!
Elizabeth is a student of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Special Education, a proud public speaker at Toastmasters International and budding entrepreneur. In my free time, she loves reading, cycling, crocheting and most recently, mastering cuisine in the kitchen. Her life’s ambition is to own an international non-profit ministry focusing on eliminating poverty in Africa and Asia as well as ministering mental and emotional healing.